Folk Camp

Shelley Thomas

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Bulgarian Vocals

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Shelley is a professional vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, producer & composer specializing in Balkan and Mediterranean music. She sings in over fifteen languages with disarming fluidity, authenticity and emotion, syncretizing methods absorbed from different world musics which she has studied extensively. She has taught workshops, recorded, performed and toured internationally with world-class artists including Yo-Yo Ma’s Silkroad, The Knights, Kronos Quartet, Simon Shaheen, Hassan Hakmoun, Bassam Saba & the New York Arabic Orchestra, Bulgarian Voices Trio, Brooklyn Raga Massive, Yael Deckelbaum, Adam Maalouf, Jebebara Unity Drum, Innov Gnawa, Mayssa Karaa, the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, MJ Dorian, Asaran Earth Trio, and Black Sea Hotel. She has performed at venues and festivals such as the Moscow Conservatory, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, Massachussetts Institute of Technology, Pioneer Works, National Sawdust, St. Ann’s Warehouse, Vancouver Island Music Festival, and Abu Dhabi Festival at Emirates Palace.

Current highlights include feature on Yo-Yo Ma and Silkroad’s GRAMMY-Winning album, Sing Me Home, with vocal ensemble Black Sea Hotel (2017 Best World Music Album) and the trio’s Fall ‘18 Sweden Tour;soundscape vocals for Panorama Festival’s 360 ARK Dome; and Yale Repertory Theater’s “Skin for Skin” Workshop. Recent performances include Ragas Live Festival, Lund Choral Festival, Stallet Stockholm, Santa Fe’s San Miguel Mission, BRIC, Le Poisson Rouge, Jalopy, SoFar Sounds, Alwan for the Arts, Havana World Music Festival, NY Sephardic Music Festival, Rural Route Film Festival, Prototype Festival, Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music, Toronto’s Small World Music Center, and Fete de la Musique Beirut. 

Shelley released her solo debut a cappella album of Bulgarian songs, titled Joy, in Spring 2016. A graduate of California Institute of the Arts, she has worked as Musical Director with the One World Brooklyn Kids Chorus and MUSE Academy, and teaches with Music To Your Home and Gowanus Music Club in addition to private voice lessons. She attended Artist Residencies at Canada’s BANFF Centre (Persian & Eastern Traditions Program) and Avaloch Farm Music Institute in Vermont. She has also been a recipient of the Alliance for California Traditional Arts’ Traditional Arts Development Grant. 

Upcoming performances include Alex Grey’s Full Moon Gathering at COSM (Chapel of Sacred Mirrors)ARTERY showcase, Winter Residency at Barbes, and BSH Queens College Concerts + Workshops. She is currently composing and self-producing globally inspired works for her next album, Mirror, to be released in 2019 with an accompanying book of her travel photography and writings on love, spirituality, philosophy and healing. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

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